Future Lawyer of America

Future Lawyer of America

Q: instantly from university, you walked into the middle of a huge case at mcginnis lochridge. A: i did a summer season clerkship here, then proper out of college in june of 2005, i right away began working [here] with ray chester, who at the time had just filed the first or 2nd ortho evra [contraceptive] case inside the country. My first actual hearing that i ever were given to argue at changed into a motion to compel hearing on the ortho evra cases—sick with the flu, via the manner. I was not going to miss that opportunity for whatever. Ray manifestly took the lead on it, however he has continually given me possibilities to get out in front and do things, and feature opportunities like that. We gained that motion to compel. Q: and what was the final results? A: we settled all of those instances after deposition. None of them went to trial. Those cases are always going to maintain a special place for me. Q: after which you decided to stay with private injury regulation? A: mcginnis is thrilling, because you get an possibility to perform a little little bit of the whole thing. So i’ve accomplished other matters along the manner. However the products legal responsibility stuff is just what i hold coming again to. Litigation, i knew that i wanted to do pretty an awful lot from the time i knew i desired to visit regulation school. That’s why i selected baylor, sincerely, because of their litigation program. Products liability, that passed off a bit bit with the aid of danger. Q: became your plan constantly to visit law faculty? A: i think it become about my junior year [when] i realized that agriculture—ag commercial enterprise—changed into not going to be the path that turned into proper for me. So i just started out searching round at different options, and had a pal inform me they notion i'd be a great lawyer. On the time i was taking a commercial enterprise law elegance. So that and my love for john grisham—and working for an attorney there in university station—were what ultimately propelled me into law faculty. I used to be very driven once i determined that i wanted to go to regulation college. It simply felt like a calling to me. My grades had not been the greatest, to be sincere, the first two years of school. I realized, if i desired to get into law school, i had to turn it around. I had a three. 9 or four. Zero for the final two years of university. Q: properly, you impressed them at baylor—you were at the law evaluate and graduated with honors. However your unique most important became agribusiness. What led you to that route? A: i used to be a country woman. I raised cattle. I confirmed horses and cows, and i used to be president of the future farmers of the united states. I suggest, i was on the horse-judging crew. So i used to be sort of the integral texas female developing up. Q: what values did your dad and mom instill? A: i think any youngster who grows up elevating cattle—you’re up at 5 o’clock, 5:30, before college so that you can feed the animals. I used to take my cows on walks each day. There has been kind of a shaggy dog story around the community, due to the fact you’d look out and notice jessica taking walks down the road along with her cows to get them out. You need to get them correct muscle for the display. So i suppose [they instilled] the value of tough work. My dad turned into a veterinarian, and my mom—she were given her diploma in animal technological know-how, however she started as a [school] bus driver, whilst my brother and i have been young, to offer her bendy hours. She ultimately labored her way as much as be the top in their transportation branch, after which moved over to houston isd, in which she became the top of houston isd’s transportation branch. Q: did you ever reflect onconsideration on turning into a veterinarian? A: i in short entertained the concept, and then i took my first chemistry magnificence. I was not destined for the medical sciences. Q: has your historical past in agribusiness are available reachable? A: i've not had a case but wherein i had to litigate anything about cows or cattle. I’ll truely be prepared for that day. But the commercial enterprise a part of it, i suppose, is helpful. That’s usually something that is helpful, no matter what you’re doing. Q: and also you in all likelihood had to take some sciences? A: that’s some other thing that has certainly been useful. I definitely revel in delving into the complicated troubles. Learning the ins and outs of the electronic vote casting machines. On our pharmaceutical cases, studying the ins and outs of the technology of the product that we’re managing, and of the consequences that it’s causing, that our clients are affected by. I’ll spend hours discovering clinical literature on pubmed. Q: after ortho evra, you had every other set of mega-cases. A: botox. Our first trial become out in california in 2010. That turned into the spears trial. Approximately a six-week trial out in california. Our first trial, we virtually lost, which turned into heartbreaking. We had some other trial scheduled six weeks later, in oklahoma, and we hadn’t executed any depositions. So ray and i, we actually cut up up. He changed into on one facet of the united states of america and i was on the other side, taking depositions. We wanted to get justice for our clients. We got it to trial six weeks later, and that changed into our first botox verdict, which became the helton verdict. Q: a big victory. A: it became $15 million, which [in 2014] become affirmed on appeal. Our most current trial started in early november [2014]. That turned into the drake trial—on behalf of a touch boy who advanced seizures after he got botox injections. Q: why might a child have botox injections? A: most generally, it’s for spasticity associated with cerebral palsy. That’s what this boy had obtained it for. Q: are the botox cases all wrapped up now? A: sure, the court docket agreed to our agreement and the case is now resolved. We don’t currently have any botox topics pending. Q: extra recently, you represented austin metropolis councilman greg casar. A: the case was filed as an election contest, however it was more than an election contest. If the contestant [laura pressley] had gained, it honestly might have had enormous implications for the digital vote casting machine that we use right here in travis county, and during our nation. They had been jogging for a emblem-new seat. Essentially, she argued that the system did no longer comply with texas statutory necessities governing electronic vote casting machines. We received that case on a precis judgment movement, which is currently up [on appeal]. I used to be the number one architect, i'd say, of that precis judgment movement. The lead legal professional on the case is an wonderful attorney, a man named charles herring, right here in austin. He argued most of the summary judgment hearing. I became the expert at the actual electronic balloting machines. So i spoke to that at the summary judgment hearing. We did get an award of sanctions in that case, which is also up on attraction proper now, against the contestant and her attorney. I cross-tested the contestant at the sanctions listening to. It’s probably the handiest hearing i’m ever going to participate in that became live-tweeted. It had its very own hashtag, which turned into simply hysterical. I discovered [that] out after the reality, whilst each person knew the effects of it earlier than we were given returned to the workplace. Q: what’s your favorite a part of the process? A: the maximum hard and profitable part of my job is going to trial. I really like being in trial. We do lots of it. These days, i think, with the vanishing jury trial, younger attorneys specifically don’t get as many opportunities to be in trial. So i’ve been very thankful that i’ve had the possibility to be in trial lots. It may also be the hardest a part of my task—being in trial—because, particularly this closing one in vermont, i was faraway from my youngsters for a month. That’s simply tough. We did loads of facetiming. Q: you have twins, right? A: they’re almost 5 now. I took off about a year and a half, years, after my kids were born in 2011. My firm has genuinely been fantastic. Once i took off for my prolonged maternity go away, they were very expertise. Then, while i used to be equipped to return again, they welcomed me again with open palms. We work difficult, and they know that i’m running difficult after the kids visit bed. You need to locate atypical hours to work. [in my practice goup], it’s essentially just me and ray, after which we have two friends. So we’re a quite small group, which for younger legal professionals is tremendous as it offers lots of opportunities for trial experience. It also forces you to be very versatile to your exercise. It’s commonplace that one week we will all be out in a subject in denims, doing an accident-website inspection. The next day, i’m doing criminal research. Then tomorrow i’m doing a deposition. It’s very, very amusing. We’re always having to analyze some thing exclusive. Q: how do you believe you studied girls are faring inside the legal enterprise? A: speaking from my limited view of the world, i sense like i’ve been certainly lucky to discover the assist and enthusiasm for my career that i've. I obviously pay attention discussions and examine things approximately different women in the criminal profession now not having the same enjoy that i've. But, like i said, that hasn’t been my enjoy. I don’t recognise if it’s generational, because i’m extra these days out of law school—i’m not precisely sure what it's miles. For me, for my part, i can always try to find possibilities—mainly for our younger lady pals—to have the equal experiences that i do. I’ll try to take them at the side of me on depositions, ensuring that they’re getting possibilities to do depositions and to get trial revel in. Because i wager the only element i can say is, in case you study the variety of first-chair trial lawyers, you do see a large discrepancy in the chances of male versus female trial legal professionals. I don’t understand what all of the reasons for which are, however i assume for this reason it’s essential to lift up our young female litigators. That’s usually what has been done for me at my firm. Q: what’s it like operating in austin in comparison to, maybe, dallas? A: properly, i love austin. I hope to never flow to some other metropolis. It’s a extra informal surroundings. It’s common to see a number of the companions at our company show as much as the workplace in a hawaiian blouse. It’s a very collegial and near-knit felony community. There’s fewer of us, so all of us understand every other and frequently like every other. Q: what do you want to do out of the office? A: most of my unfastened time is spent doing volunteer paintings and striking out with my kids. We spend loads of time just striking out at domestic, doing a laugh matters together. Q: what sort of volunteer paintings do you do? A: i'm on the board of the thinkery, that's our nearby youngsters’s museum. We’re reinventing ourselves as greater of a technology center for youngsters, focusing on technology, generation, engineering, arts and math. And that i’m chairing our nominations and governance committee. Then i’m also at the board of our austin younger legal professionals affiliation. This 12 months i’m co-chairing the ladies’s useful resource fair, that is a honestly first-rate occasion that the young lawyers affiliation places on. It’s annual, for low-income ladies in austin. We have all types of clinical providers. We've got a clothing pressure. We simply have all forms of resources to be had to girls. They are able to go in and get mammograms. They could get their hair cut and they could get clothing. Q: what would your co-employees be maximum amazed to discover about you? A: i suppose a variety of my colleagues might be amazed to recognize that i used to be president of my ffa and turned into this kind of farm lady developing up. I’ll brag on myself a little bit: i’m very proud of the fact that i had the grand-champion steer on the tomball ffa venture display for 2 years in a row. It’s absolutely one of my crowning accomplishments.